Farmers in Mongar dzongkhag are trying to optimise the use of fallow land with government incentives such as seeds and seedlings, irrigation facilities, transportation subsidy and marketing equipment.
The dzongkhag agriculture sector and the gewog administration initiated construction of a 2 km long irrigation channel. With this irrigation channel, seeds and technical support in place, farmers involving 44 households in Drepong reverted 50 acres of fallow wetland last year.
According to the ADAO, Phub Dorji, the 50 acres of land is expected to produce approximately 50MT of rice.
Earlier, several attempts at the dzongkhag level were made to bring back fallow lands to farming but the initiative failed.
Meanwhile, in Wengkhar gewog the Agriculture Research and Development Centre is stressing on bringing more fallow wetland into cultivation through irrigation channel construction, input support, free farm machinery prop up and other necessary supports.
Shortage of water is one of the main reasons for not being able to cultivate paddy in these villages. The farmers have said the government should explore making water available to farming communities.
This can be only done by constructing reservoirs and dams to trap small perennial streams which could compromise flora and fauna downstream as monsoon rain is uncertain for farmers to undertake paddy farming.
As per the survey by the dzongkhag agriculture office most of the productive wetland is being left fallow due to lack of reliable water source and urbanization.